EPA monitoring environmental impacts of Medford fuel station fire

MEDFORD, Ore. – Firefighters have completed “mop up” of the Pacific Pride Fire site and all fire personnel have been demobilized. However, crews are now dealing with the environmental impacts of petroleum product runoff.

Just before 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, fire crews responded to explosions and a large fuel fire near the intersection of South Central Avenue and Boyd Street in South Medford.

According to Medford firefighters, they were working to contain runoff from above-ground fuel silos and called in a “heavy foam” unit from the airport.

The fire reportedly generated a “substantial amount of heat,” the Medford Fire Department said. It destroyed four buildings that included several businesses before it was under control.

The City of Medford said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference that hazardous materials from the fuel station flowed into nearby storm drains leading into Bear Creek.

As of Thursday morning, all firefighting personnel were released from the site. However, there is a massive cleanup effort that remains underway.

South Central Avenue from East 13th Street to Barnett Road remains closed as crews work to clean the area.

According to the city, birds covered in oil have been seen in the Bear Creek area. The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife are reportedly managing the response to the environmental impacts.

The City of Medford said the EPA is setting up air monitors in the area.

Further information is expected to be released by officials midday on Thursday.

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